How OMD2 Calculates “Skull Score”

How OMD2 Calculates “Skull Score”

Many people have been asking about the “Skull Score” in the Stats page after each game of Orcs Must Die 2. I decided to do some research and figure it out for myself. A full day later my desk is covered in post-it notes with scrappy hand-written thoughts and results from game after game to verify my ideas. Here is what I’ve come up with.

Story Mode

The pure and simple way to earn a skull score in Story Mode games is to finish the level with full rift points, under the given Par time that they set, AND never get hit by any enemy (not even once). If you fail at any of those requirements, then you get no Skull Score points. Sorry, no partial credit on this test. For those who are able to do all three tasks, 50000 points are yours. If you can manage a co-op game where BOTH players are untouched and the other two qualifiers are met, then as a team you earn 100000.

Things to be aware of in trying to attain these points are:

  • Kill-boxes early in the map can help your time quite a bit, but if it’s later in the path line, then you may not make par.
  • Using Barricades can help keep enemies where you need them, but you risk several things happening:
    • Long mazes make things take a long time to die (be aware of the Par time).
    • Sappers can easily destroy barricades if you’re not being careful.
    • Gnolls are not stopped by barricades, and come directly for you to attack you (unless you have Decoys).
  • Taking the Rift Defender Trinket does NOT give you a buffer of rift points that could be lost without sacrificing the Skull Score. If you lose a point, you get no Skull Score.

Endless Mode

The scoring mechanic for Endless Mode is very different, in this case, from that of Story Mode. As far as I can tell, there is no direct scoring bonus from extended times of not getting hit by enemies, or for avoiding the loss of rift points. Skull Score is earned solely through the completion of levels. Every 5 levels gains 10000 point in the Skull Score category per player (20000 per 5 levels in co-op). I repeated the first 5, 10, and 15 rounds of Tunnels countless times to try every combination of getting hit and not getting hit, losing points or not, picking up skulls or leaving them, and even whether or not to let Mr. Moneybags through. Every single method left me with precisely 10k per player per 5 levels.

The pattern seems to be carrying into the higher levels of Endless Mode as well, though I haven’t been able to test it extensively. It’s possible there are ways of earning additional Skull Score (reaching level 400 or something I haven’t yet taken the time to do). If that turns out to be the case, I will revise this article with the updated information. For now you can at least count on an additional 10000 points each time you hit another 5 levels, and not have to worry about the occasional scratch from a Gnoll Hunter or a Kobold Runner getting through your traps when you aren’t looking.

Hopefully that clears up the mystery of the Skull Score. If you’re interested in seeing how I tested these theories, feel free to send me an e-mail and I will share it with you. If you have questions or additional information about this topic, please comment below, we’d like to hear your thoughts on the matter. This is Noisy Cricket, go bust some orc skulls.

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1 Comment on “How OMD2 Calculates “Skull Score”

  1. It is also possible to gain a skull score bonus from not using any mana.
    I managed to earn a 100,000 point bonus on War Mage difficulty in single player mode by not getting hit and not using mana.